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Pfizer Leaders Discuss the Adoption of Open Source, Predominantly R, in Clinical Trial Reporting

By November 9, 2023Blog

In this PHUSE video interview, Pfizer is making strides in incorporating open source tools into its clinical reporting processes. Michael Rimler, PHUSE Open Source Technologies Director, brings in Mike Smith, Senior Director at Pfizer, head of its R Center of Excellence, and R Consortium board member, and Patti Compton, Vice President and head of Statistical Data Science and Analytics at Pfizer, to discuss Pfizer’s open source journey. 

While Pfizer has used R for many years, primarily in clinical pharmacology and QA metrics, the company is now looking to transition more of its clinical trial reporting to be predominantly R based within the software development lifecycle. Smith notes some challenges of “changing the wheels on the bus while it’s rolling down the highway,” but both leaders emphasize the importance and benefits of collaboration through open source. 

Patti Compton sees opportunities to build Pfizer’s data science community, leverage the rich library ecosystem, and gain platform independence to take time out of drug development timelines. Both envision a future where submissions to regulators use interactive data tools to allow deeper exploration of clinical trial results.

Smith predicts more interactive platforms between industry and regulators for activities like label negotiations within the next two to three years. Compton agrees that open source will be applied in new ways across drug discovery and development and expects expectations for data science skills to increase. The interview provides insight into Pfizer’s motivations and goals for advancing open source adoption within clinical reporting and analytics.

You can watch the full interview here.